A Conversation With Nate Leblanc: Switching Between Genres, Keeping the Music Sacred, Building a Fanbase, and More
I had the pleasure of sitting down with experimental artist, Nate Leblanc. Nate doesn’t fit in any one genre, and that’s partially due to the many musical ventures he has pursued in the past. He takes influence and elements from all of the different genres he has created before, and that makes up his music today. Get an inside look into Nate Leblanc’s creative process, his diverse musical background, building a fanbase, and more.
View the full interview here:
“So you mentioned to me before that you have one of the weirder come ups / backgrounds. What did you mean by that? And how does that shape your music?”
“So pretty much, I started off making punk music with my friends in a band playing guitar. I learned saxophone and I played drums. Learned a little bit of piano, kind of like bounced around every instrument and then high school I started deejaying. Then I thought I wanted to be a big DJ playing EDC and stuff. So then I started producing EDM in college and I was a fraternity DJ for my fraternity, and then started playing other houses.
That gave me a bunch of opportunities to open for bigger artists. I played with SNBRN and I got to meet them too, which was dope. I played with ElderBrook, Enzo and a few other guys. That was really cool meeting them.
Then in 2019, I went through surgery and I had like nine months, nothing to do. I just started learning to produce less EDM, more kind of like singing stuff. Then I played my first show in September of 2019. At that point I still wanted to be a full DJ but I wanted to be more like Flume. Then just a few months ago I started really going in for rapping. I realized that I’m more of someone that likes to write and do poetry.
I’ve just kind of been everywhere. I’ve made punk music, indie rock, dub step, house music, jazz. I’ve been through so many different genres and kind of walks of life in a way, in terms of music. So now I’m trying to take everything and all of my favorite elements.”
“Other than your past, what else do you seem to grab inspiration from? Whether it’s an artist, an activity, or friends?”
“Artists I take big inspiration from is Mac Miller. I’ve just been a big fan of him for the longest time. I just love his writing style and all of that. I take inspiration from electronic music. It’s mostly just the music I’ve listened to. I take a lot of inspiration from just random songs, like sometime I find random records at the store.
Other than that, I take a lot of inspiration from my life. I still have a lot of things to talk about that’s happened to me. So when I start running out of things to talk about in that sense, I’ll start experiencing new things, you know?”
“That’s really cool that you’re able to be vulnerable and talk about that in your music. Cause I know a lot of artists hold that back because they’re afraid to put that out there.”
“For me I can’t make songs where I’m talking about partying and money and all of that. It just feels weird and foreign to me. I feel like I’m lying when I’m talking about those things. But when I’m talking about deeper stuff like you said, like more vulnerable stuff, that’s when the words come out a lot more fluidly for me.”
“Let’s talk a little about your upcoming album. Listening to your discography you don’t really stick to one genre. What genres will we be hearing on this new album?”
“So yeah, new album dropping sometime this spring. I don’t want to say a date yet, but it’s all pretty much done. The last album was very jazz heavy, very like nineties era kind of stuff. This one is, I don’t really know what genre it is actually. It’s very electronic. There’s a lot of blues in there. Lyrics as usual is always hip hop. It’s going to be a lot more experimental, more electronic stuff.
I guess that’d be going back to my own roots in a way, in terms of deejaying. There’s a couple of house songs in there. Going to be like way different than the last stuff I did, but still kind of the same vibe in a way.”
“Will you be releasing any singles leading up to the release?”
“Yeah I’m actually planning on dropping like three or four songs from it. The project is going to be around 20 songs. The whole idea is to make an album that you can just put your headphones on and close your eyes and you have a whole movie play out in your head.
A lot of atmosphere everywhere. I added just so many little things. There’s a lot of audio snippets and dialogue throughout the album. There’s a couple of different stories in there. It’s going to be a really dense album.
I’ve always had this idea of continuing sort of the story from project to project. My goal is so you can listen from my first song to the last song and it’ll flow. So the last album leads into this album and this album will lead into the next project. So you could literally listen to my whole discography as one long album.”
“What kind of like themes should we be expecting within the lyrics? Is it going to be more of the vulnerableness similar to your past music?”
“It’s going to pretty much continue the story. The last one was about living with depression and trying to overcome it. And this one is sort of in the same vein. The last one was more of from my perspective, but this one is more of like a character. You’re kind of following this character through his journey and he eventually goes to a different planet and stuff like that.
Without trying to say too much about the story, it’s a lot more storytelling. It’s more of a narrative than the last album, which was a lot more just me talking about what I was going through at the time. This is more of like trying to create a character to talk about it.”
“As an independent artist entering such an oversaturated market, you know firsthand how hard it can be standing out. What advice do you have for other emerging artists on how they can build their fan base and engagement?”
“I don’t know. That’s something I’m still struggling with. I think that’s something, every artist struggles with constantly, no matter how big you are. Balancing like what you want to do as an artist, how you want to evolve as an artist and how you like giving back to your fans, as well as giving music that your fans would like.”